Howick Hall Gardens and Craster

Our Northumbrian trip wasn’t only dedicated to Roman antiquities. We took time to drive over to Howick Hall, seat of Earl Grey of tea fame, where the gardens are open to the public.

The gardens and arboretum are designed such that different parts flourish at different time of year, so there’s always something different to see.

The wildflower and tulip gardens were still beautiful ...

The wildflower and tulip gardens were still beautiful …


We took the guided tour, with a most expert and informative guide

We took the guided tour, with a most expert and informative guide

The arboretum is a linear park, following a stream, and is managed to look natural

The arboretum is a linear park, following a stream, and is managed to look natural

We visited at rhododendron time ...

We visited at rhododendron time …

160523 Herding Hill 032a

160523 Herding Hill 033a

160523 Herding Hill 035a

But it wasn't all rhododendrons.  These are candelabra primroses, which apparently thrive in the boggy conditions

But it wasn’t all rhododendrons. These are candelabra primroses, which apparently thrive in the boggy conditions

Some trees are remarkable for their bark ...

Some trees are remarkable for their bark …

... others for their unusual leaves.

… others for their unusual leaves.

The gardens also are home to a beautiful church

The gardens also are home to a beautiful church

You can't visit the house itself, but much restoration is going on.  This pond has been newly stocked with fish

You can’t visit the house itself, but much restoration is going on. This pond has been newly stocked with fish

The coat of arms of the Grey family, showing the scaling ladder at the top which is their famous mark

The coat of arms of the Grey family, showing the scaling ladder at the top which is their famous mark

We had time after the garden visit to walk into nearby Craster, famous for its kippers.

Craster

Craster

The harbour, still active for fishing though much reduced from its former glory

The harbour, still active for fishing though much reduced from its former glory

And there's still a smokehouse, where we bought delicious smoked fish for supper

And there’s still a smokehouse, where we bought delicious smoked fish for supper

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